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Healthy Child Growth

As part of the obesity and healthy child growth clinical pathway, the CY CHC team worked collaboratively to develop predictive tools for use in clinical settings. 

The CY CHC team supported the obesity and healthy child growth clinical pathway on the use of their predictive tools based on algorithms applied to linked datasets. 

The first predictive tool developed before the start of the CHC programme, the Healthy Weight app, was developed to predict the likelihood of obesity by the age of 2 years. This was applied to young children attending monitoring visits between the ages of 7 and 9 months. This proof of concept was shown to have good discrimination and was acceptable for use in a clinical setting. 

As part of the CY CHC programme, support was given to develop a second predictive tool. This was completed in collaboration with health visitors who were interested in using additional routine data to automatically predict obesity in children at an older age and send an automatic referral to their support service for at-risk children. Given that the age at which parents are routinely invited to have their children measured is 5 years old and there is poor uptake of the routine measurement appointment at two years, there was a request to investigate the use of the tool for 5 year olds. In response to these requests, the team investigated the ability of this new tool to predict obesity at five years in children aged 2 years. It was found that predictive ability was insufficient for use in a clinical setting for the second tool, predominantly because diet and physical activity are important factors at this age. This is information that is not readily available and is time-consuming to collect. 

The learning from these projects were published and Connected Bradford data will be used to validate the first risk tool across the city and work with TPP, an electronic clinical records system used across primary care, to integrate the algorithms as part of the routine workflow for the health visitors.


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